Xbox’s yearly summer showcase is just a few days away and so far at least, Microsoft’s army of Ninjas are keeping things pretty quiet this year! In previous years, and often by their own store, reveals were spoiled before the show even began, secrets surrounding the entire showcase being spilled weeks in advance of the show.
Will it hold this year?
What’s left for 2022?
This is the second year for Team Green in bringing their newly acquired publisher Bethesda along for the ride. Xbox’s 23 first party studios (not including the pending Activision-Blizzard integration) are all possibilities to show up at the show alongside the usual slew of third party partners and delectable indies.
Xbox always make their annual Showcase a big deal every year, but this one again feels pretty significant. The recent delays of highly anticipated games like Starfield and Redfall makes Xbox’s current roadmap of first party content, especially for 2022, more than a little unclear.
We know that there are a smorgasbord of first party games in the works, the only real question that remains is when we will finally be able to play them.
We hope that Xbox is able to lay out a roadmap of sorts for the next 18-24 months, giving Xbox fans a reasonable expectation for what to expect over the coming years.
But hey, we’ve got a few days to go before the big show, so the XboxEra team have put their heads together, and laid out our hopes, expectations and maybe even a few dreams. Let’s jump in.
A gears Collection that bundles the first 3 games has been rumoured for a while now (Thanks Nick!), and if it does exist 2022 may be the time for it to release. Often pinged as the Gears version of the Master Chief Collection, this bundle of games would form an updated remaster of sorts of the original 3 games. It would also mark the first time Gears of War 2 and 3 would arrive on PC. Whilst not confirmed in any way by Xbox or The Coalition, it sure would be swell for fans of the series, and we’re pretty confident on this one.
Turn 10’s Forza Motorsport has been in development for a long time and is being described as a reboot of the series. Originally announced in 2020, it makes sense that 2022 would be the time to finally release the game. Internal testing for the game has been going on for some time, with a few leaked images having recently surfaced. While the title was tested in some capacity on the original Xbox One, the game is expected to release on Xbox Series X| S and PC only, meaning true current gen only racing may be on the horizon.
Halo Battle Royale and Forge
Would it be an Xbox showcase without Halo? While season 3 of Halo Infinite is still a while away, there have been plenty of rumours over the past few months of a possible Halo Battle Royale. Code named “Tatanka”, this mode is being developed by Certain Affinity and there’s a chance it may be ready to show this week. Otherwise, we all know that the game’s Forge is set to release in open beta this September. Maybe we’ll finally see our first official look at all the new features they’ve been working on there.
A Plague’s Tale: Requiem
Announced as a game launching directly on to Game Pass, the sequel to the surprisingly great A Plague Tale looks set to impress! We suspect we’ll get to see some gameplay from this one ahead of it’s launch later this year…if it doesn’t get delayed too of course.
Obsidian are working on a LOT it seems. With the upcoming inevitable Grounded 1.0 release, signalling the end of the games early access period, we also know there are other projects in the works. First of all, we have the already announced via amusing tongue-in-cheek trailer Outer Worlds 2.
Not only that, but we have the long rumoured Josh Sawyer led project Pentiment, initially talked about by Jeff Grubb on his show, Grubbsnax and then further detailed by Jez Corden over at Windows Central. Supposedly, the game has you playing as some sort of detective in 16th century Europe, working to solve a grisly murder. Apparently inspired by games like Disco Elysium, it’ll feature all sorts of great diverse narrative that Josh Sawyer is known for.
Will it be at the show? Well we have this tweet from Josh himself, which hints at the possibility.
“Wait for 2023!”
“Next year” has been a running theme for Xbox’s first party output since Microsoft began truly investing in the brand in 2018. 2022 was supposed to be the beginning of a new era, but with delays, 2023 is now being marked as the official begin of something new.
Starfield and Redfall have already been confirmed for the first half of 2023, and a few heavy hitters are likely to follow. We will have to wait until June 12th to get an idea of Xbox’s internal scheduling, but there is confidence 2023 may be filled to the brim with first party content.
Bethesda Game Studios next epic RPG will undoubtedly be shown at the June 12th showcase. It’s Xbox’s biggest game so far this generation and has years of hype propelling it to becoming one of the most sought after games in recent memory.
Originally announced in 2018, Starfield has been in development for at least 6 years. Bethesda has promised an incredibly ambitious Role Playing Game featuring unparalleled freedom and choice. We have heard lots of promising things about this game but have yet to see anything other than brief in engine teasers. That is set to end soon, as the Bethesda Game Studios team are on the cusp of finally revealing this long awaited game.
Unfortunately, the game has been delayed out of its initial November 11th, 2022 release date. An ambiguous “first half of 2023” release window is all we have now for when we should expect the game to release. The disappointment this delay has brought should be mitigated some what if the game shows well.
Arkane’s next game is being slated as part immersive sim, part vampire game, part optional co-op looter/shooter. Very little is known about Redfall and the team has been incredibly quiet about its development since it was announced last year. Some early leaked alpha footage did surface a while ago, but we’d love and fully expect to see more from the masters at Arkane.
Now we mentioned earlier that it seems Obsidian will be at the show in some capacity. While Starfield is seemingly headlining, Avowed is a game we hope to see more from. Set in the Pillars of Eternity universe, this RPG could be Obsidian’s answer to Skyrim, but we’d expect to something smaller in scope, in a similar vein to the first Outer Worlds. Will gameplay be shown? Time will tell.
Age of Empires
Age of Empires IV released on PC and was quite lovely actually. How about that console release? We think this is very likely to be headed our way this year, and should please any RTS fans on console out there!
Now we’ve been lucky to have seen a fair bit from Ninja Theory’s sequel so far, from the initial reveal to a stunning in-game sequence against a large monstrous adversary. Will we get a date and a little more gameplay from the team? We hope so.
Contraband, an Xbox Game Studios Publishing project from developers Avalanche Studios was revealed via a nifty CG trailer last year. With some very obvious hints to planned heists, a co-op focused, open world game is on the cards, likely set back in the 70’s for some reason.. Sure would be nice to get some gameplay on this one!
State of Decay 3
We’ve got a funny feeling about this one. When we asked Phil on our podcast as to what game he’s looking forward to showing more of (without picking favourites of course!) he talked a fair bit about State of Decay 3 and how well the team are doing. Revealed via a nifty trailer a couple years ago, could we see a gameplay reveal from Undead Labs? Perhaps so!
Will Fable show up?
We really hope so. From the amazing team at Playground Games, who are now trying to bring their open-world racing expertise to the world of adventure RPG’s, Fable has the potential to be absolutely massive for Xbox, heralding the return of a beloved IP with lots of modern bells and whistles. Cross your fingers on this one.
What about Perfect Dark?!
In a similar vein to our hopes for Fable, the team at XboxEra really want to see the evolution and future of Perfect Dark in the hands of The Initiative and co-developers Crystal Dynamics. The guns! The gadgets! Sinister corporations and evil alien races! Yes please!
With the success Sega saw in bringing the entire Yakuza series to Xbox via Game Pass, we’re hoping Phil and teams trips to Japan have brought similar success in negotiating other legendary franchises to return to Xbox. Persona could do incredibly well on the service, and maybe we’ll finally see that Final Fantasy VII Remake make it’s way to Xbox.
There’s been quite a few rumours that the long thought dead Goldeneye Remaster from Rare might be making its way back to life, and with recent evidence showing current Rare employees unlocking achievements for the game, perhaps Bond’s N64 outing might be coming back after all? A surprise release mid-show would certainly be a wonderful moment for fans looking to dip back into some nostalgic FPS gaming.
Will We See New Hardware?
With the Xbox Series line of consoles launching just shy of three years ago, as well as ongoing chip shortages, the likelihood of a mid-gen refresh console a la Xbox One X is fairly low. And since the Series X and S are holding up far better than last generation consoles, a new set of consoles so soon probably wouldn’t be the best of ideas.
We’re then left with the other under-the-radar device commonly referred to as the Xbox Streaming Stick slash Box, or Codename Keystone, and it’s job is to do exactly what its reference means: streaming games from Microsoft’s Xbox Cloud Gaming service. As reported by Windows Central, the device has been in development for a couple of years now, and its feature set is still being finalized. Windows Central’s Jez Corden doesn’t believe we’ll see the device at the upcoming Showcase, however, so who knows when we’ll see this product become reality.
Mind you….they could always surprise us with a dedicated Xbox handheld…right?
Now there’s a lot of things we could touch on here. It’s crazy, but there are so many projects, so many studios, that for the first time in a long time, we’re a little spoilt for choice! There are other studios that could have something to show, like Project Midnight from Compulsion Games, or perhaps Project Belfry in partnership with Stoic Studios via Global Publishing. Will we see more from Everwild from Rare? Not sure about that one, as it looks to have been rebooted internally, though we hope the artstyle remains intact!
What about the rumoured project with Kojima? A new 1VS100? The Wu-Tang Clan themed 3rd person melee action RPG?! Killer Instinct 2? Project Dragon from IO Interactive?
The list goes on, but in our hearts, as always, there is one thing that we would really love to see – and that is of course, that Banjo Kazooie Remaster. Long demanded by fans, perhaps finally, we can will this one into existence.
So that’s it! What do you think, are we on the ball here or are we missing something? Drop a comment, or head over to our forums and have your say.